Tag Archives: shopping

SoCal Mini Break: Venice Beach Boardwalk

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Venice Beach Boardwalk Skate Park

I can’t make a stop in LA without a pass through Venice.  When I was a Los Angeles resident, Venice was always a great place to be for the day, with all its color and life!

Luckily, this time, it was only a short walk away from my bungalow in Marina Del Rey to the Venice Boardwalk…

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Close enough to take in the art…

 

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And the people…

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Do a little shopping…

 

 

Take in the local flavor…

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And catch some major skill at the skatepark…

Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed. Processed with VSCO with acg presetBut, as I have experienced time and again in My California, I can never get enough…

photo-oct-12-1-34-56-pm…so, I will continue to return.

SoCal Mini Break: Beach Time

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here

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How to “Find Yourself” at 50

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The QuizThis year, I reached a milestone of 50 (not in pushups, unfortunately, but in years). When I turned 40, shopping like crazy for the next decade seemed an acceptable course of action, but when I hit 50, at least some self-reflection was pretty much unavoidable.

How hard could it be? After 50 years I thought I had a handle on myself. On the keeping it real side, I have reconciled to the fact that I am not actually a good cook, or very crafty (despite embarrassing efforts on both), and I will never learn to like Cantaloupe. In the glass is half full kind of way, I have a healthy (if somewhat immature) sense of humor, I am good at taking on new challenges, and I am thrilled I never, ever have to learn to like Cantaloupe.

However, I was totally unprepared for the new realm of cyber self-discovery offered by the Facebook Quiz. Do you know it? The rampant quizzes offered online that allow the user to not only discover something they never knew they needed to know about themselves, but also the ability to share the vastly interesting findings with everyone on Facebook – things of great import such as What Broadway Musical are you?, Who is your Hunger Games Soulmate?, and How Many Goats are You Worth?

At first I laughed and made fun of people who took them (I’m 50; I’m allowed to do that). But curiosity got the best of me. Once I began to actually take the quizzes the depth of information I did not know about myself seemed endless. I couldn’t stop taking them and over the course of several months, I took every quiz I could find. I made some astounding discoveries.

Some of them made complete sense like,

1.  My personality color is Blue (even though on another day I took the quiz and could not stop getting the color pink – which makes me wonder if I have a split personality I was previously unaware of).

2.  If I were in a Horror Flick I would die right away (I always suspected as much).

3.  If I were a precious stone I would be an Emerald (Probably because I have watched Wizard of Oz a gazillion times.)

Some discoveries I can’t believe I went 50 years without knowing such as;

4.  If I was a Golden Girl I would be Rose (those “blond” moments have finally caught up with me).

5.  If I were a dessert I would be a Lemon Tart (because I am witty, zesty…and old).

6.  My hippy name is Luna (which my kids decided, made complete sense).

However, some information I found hard to reconcile like:

7.  If I were a movie character I would be Tony Stark (a complete let down from the standpoint that I would need to have man parts and was totally hoping for Holly GoLightly.)

8.  My boyfriend from the past was Cary Grant (I always thought of myself as more of a Montgomery Clift kind of girl – you know, the torchured brooding type).

9.  However, getting to smooch with Cary Grant (or Monty) hardly mattered since I also found out my most likely death in the past was to go down on the Titanic (completely proving my refusal to go on cruises did not actually stem from sea sickness and a fear of buffets).

10.  I am only 55% Bada$$ – meaning I am only a “Bada$$ in training wheels.” (But since the quiz, “What Famous Bada$$ are You?” said I was Mati Hari, I suggest you still watch your back).

And some of the discoveries I was just plain dubious about like:

11.  I am actually NOT a psychopath (a relief to my husband although he is still skeptical).

12.  My secret talent is Staying Calm (I don’t think my family was consulted here).

13. My calling is to be a Creative Master. (Clearly my cut out sugar cookies blobs were NOT considered).

14.  The country that most suits me is Monaco because I was born to live in the lap of luxury ( I am 50 years past that birth, anytime would be a good time for that to start!).

15.  My ideal way to spend a vacation was on a road trip across the United States. (in a car for hours on end with two teenagers? I think not).

And then there were the quizzes that required retakes such as:

16.  Which State Are You? On first try I was Massachusetts, which is just too cold, so I kept taking it until I got California.

17.  What Decade Are You? I got the 50’s. But now when I wear 50’s vintage sweaters I look old instead of hip.  So I retook the test until I got the 80’s (cause the 80’s and shoulder pads are cool again).

18.  Who is Your Celebrity Boyfriend? On the first try I found out my celebrity boyfriend and soul mate was Ryan Gosling, which I was completely thrilled about. However, I was greedy and wanted to see who else I could pick from and on the second attempt got Channing Tatum (hmmm, how will I ever choose?).

19.  What Brand of Car Best Describes You? On first take I got Toyota Prius which meant I cared about the Earth, but also seemed so un-sexy. On the next try I got Ferrari which meant I was Fast and Fabulous (like, was there ever any doubt?)

In the end, I was just happy to know, via the quizzes, my mental age is 22 (which may be reflective of my enjoyment of immature humor), the one word that best describes me is “Adventurous” (probably because I am the Mom of teens and survived a polar vortex), if I were a dog I would be a German Shepard (I was just relieved not to be a Terrier), my ideal career is Actor (being able to cry on command gets a lot accomplished), my song is “Your Beautiful” (which must stem from my penchant for straggly haired folk singers),

And most importantly, in a trade/dowry situation, I am worth 7 goats (which totally miffed Teen, because he was only worth 6).

If you think this article is making fun of the Facebook Quiz craze, well, you would be right. However, despite my ridicule, there was something intoxicating (not to mention a great time killer) about answering a slew of random questions designed to reveal some potentially deep dark (or shallow) secrets about yourself. And I did learn a thing or two – Which happily proves, even at 50, there are still things to learn (and everything on the internet is true).

Therefore, in the spirit of my new discoveries, I am leaving behind the well-loved mantra of my 40’s “Shop ‘til you drop” (-all women everywhere), to adopt the new mantra of my 50’s “Learn as if you were to live forever” (-Gandhi) – Which should keep me plenty busy for the next decade learning new ways to continue to shop.

Oh, and if we should, in the future, happen to cross paths,

Just call me Luna and bring some treats for my goats.

To find out how many Goats you are worth…go here.
(But, if you are worth more than 6, don’t tell Teen).

 

 

Are You Mom or Housekeeper?

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If you are not immediately sure of the answer to the question “Are you the Mom or the Housekeeper?” then you are in desperate need of  a personal day and my most recent article on ParentSociety.com may be just the thing: 6 Ways to Pamper Yourself During Mommy Time.

You know the moment when you are knee-deep in laundry and it occurs to you that the job of mom (or in some cases, dad) is more like the job of live-in housekeeper?

I don’t know about you, but before I became a mom, my visions of motherhood went more like little children tripping along behind me, through the grassy meadow, singing in perfect harmony. OK, that might have been “Sound of Music,” but you get my drift.

Well, whenever I begin to overly obsess on the housekeeper aspects of being a mom, which usually comes in the midst of some particularly gross job like scrubbing toothpaste globs out of the carpet, I know it is time for a personal day…

We all need some personal time every now and then. Go Here to get 6 suggestions on how you might spend it.

Go now…what are you waiting for?…the laundry will wait…I promise!

6 Ways to Pamper Yourself During Mommy Time.

Confessions of a Shopaholic

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My most recent article on ParentSociety.com deals with something very near and dear to my heart, a favored activity if you will, something my son abhors but my Mom and I always adored …shopping.

I know, I know, not my usual literary contribution (’cause usually I write ‘high and mighty’ posts such as  Show Me Your Weenus), but I felt like sharing some of my favorite discount shopping sites this week with readers in  My Top 5 Discount Shopping Sites. (you can thank me or curse me later).

It starts out like this:

Hi, my name is Paula, I am a shopaholic.

Yes, it is true. But don’t plan an intervention just yet. For, you see, I am very content in my addiction. Happy, even.

So, if you are a shopaholic like me, shopping enthusiast, or just plain curious, go HERE to read the rest and find out 5 places to find a good deal.

My Top 5 Discount Shopping Sites

Ready, Set, Shop!

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Yesterday was epic.  Bigger than man walking on the moon, the first black president or even, yes,  the joining of chocolate and peanut butter.  Yesterday, my teenage son and I went shopping.  Mind you, not grocery shopping, or all-the-junk-I-don’t-need  Walmart shopping, but to the mall…clothes shopping…for him! Yeah, that just happened.

You see, both my boys hate to shop for clothes.  In fact, I would probably have better luck getting them to paint their nails pink and do a CanCan on the Vegas Strip.  (oh, that is unless there is a video game demo anywhere within a reachable radius).  This being the case, I normally opt for the, purchase what looks to be the right size-bring home for them to try on- return for size that fits, method (I know, I am more saintly than suspected!).

I made the mistake years ago telling my kids the story of how my older brothers would always steer Mom away from any and all clothing displays saying “don’t even look, Mom.”  Consequently, it has become routine whenever we ‘accidentally’ (hey, a girl can try) venture close to any women’s’ accoutrement each boy grabs me by an elbow and hustles me on like a criminal being escorted out of the store, repeating the mantra “don’t even look, Mom, just don’t even look.”

However, the current clothing situation for my growing teen had become dire.  It seemed like all of a sudden, virtually everything he turned up wearing looked like he had wrestled it from some poor, unsuspecting short person. I mean, boys don’t wear ‘daisy dukes’, right?  And with our current drought situation, those ‘floods’ were of no use to him whatsoever.  Therefore, one brave morning, I broached the subject with trepidation:

“I was thinking, maybe you and I should go shopping to get for you some clothes that actually fit?”

(Look of incredulity, like I just suggested we shave the cat or something)

“I promise I will make it quick”

(grunt)

“We will only go to a few places.”

(groan)

“I will only make you try on stuff when absolutely necessary.”

(eye roll)

“I will run you by the army surplus store when we are done?”

(ding ding ding, we had a winner!)

So yesterday, off we went.  I made good on all my promises and at the end of the day we arrived home with a bag full of clothes that actually fit him and, one army issue backpack & canteen.

For me, it was a great day.  I got to utter terms like “v-neck tee”, “contrast stitching” and “skinny or straight leg jean?” and experience on a small scale the Mom/kid shopping outings so long denied.

For him, well, he found a way to make it work.  I believe his exact words at the moment just prior to this photo being taken were

“Hey, like this, shopping isn’t so bad after all!”

Like I said, an epic day…

If You Give a Chick a Shopping Trip

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An intermingled ode to a favorite bedtime story my Grandma Ruth used to tell, some of my fondest ‘chick’ memories with my Mom, and loved children’s book author, Laura Numeroff of the If You Give a Moose a Muffin fame.

If you give a Chick a Shopping Trip, she will want to go right away.

She will want to go to the mall.

When she gets there, she will decide she needs to buy something.

She will want to go to her favorite department store.

At the department store, she will see a beautiful dress in the window.  When she sees the beautiful dress, she will decide she needs beautiful shoes to go with it.

On her way to the register to buy the beautiful dress and the beautiful shoes to go with it, she will try all the perfume samples.  She will probably smell funny.

Before she reaches the register, it is entirely possible she will see a beautiful coat to match the beautiful dress and beautiful shoes.

She will buy the beautiful dress, the beautiful shoes and the beautiful coat to match.

Shopping will make her hungry and she will want to go to lunch.  When she gets to the café, she will order a Vanilla Coke.

Drinking the Vanilla Coke at the café will remind her of her Mom and all the shopping trips they have taken together.  Thinking of her Mom will make her homesick and she will want to go home for a visit.

When she gets home, she will want to give her Mom a present. She will give her Mom the beautiful dress, the beautiful shoes and the beautiful coat to match. She will insist her Mom try them on right away.

Seeing her Mom in the beautiful dress, the beautiful shoes and the beautiful coat, will remind her of their shopping trips.

She will want to go on one right away. She will want her Mom to come.

When she and her Mom go on the shopping trip they will see a beautiful dress in the window.

And chances are, when they see the beautiful dress in the window, they will need beautiful shoes to go with it, and a beautiful coat to match.

Happy Birthday, Mom

Pretty in Pink…and Camo?

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Last weekend, I made a fatal mistake.  I uttered, out loud, the words “I’m going to town”.  Now, let me explain something.  When you live in the country (as I have found myself), you must frequently “go to town” to pick up groceries, pharmaceuticals, Dolce Vita shoes… you know, the necessities.

Unfortunately on this particular occasion, my husband, in a rare respite from ‘husband acquired deafness’ (aka HAD), heard my statement and responded:  “Oh good, can you pick something up for me?” (ugh), “At Walmart” (double ugh), “In the sporting goods section”(ok, that’s just plain cruel!).

But, being a good wife (hold snickers, please) I acquiesced with the minimal amount of spousal complaining.

So, a few hours later, there I was roaming around and around and around noted store, in designated section, trying desperately to locate said item.  And then it occurred to me, Walmart did not intend for me to find this item – and I have proof! But in order to prove my theory I must digress to earlier that afternoon.

An hour before my fated trip to Walmart, I was breezing through a local Department Store.  Not looking for anything in particular, (like that really mattered), when all of a sudden, like a heat projecting beacon, there they were!  The pink suede ballet flats I didn’t know I needed, had no idea I wanted, but clearly, could not live another day without.

So here is the thing, if Walmart really wanted for people like me – the outdoorsy challenged – to find things in the section featuring those required, rugged accoutrements, they would strategically place in amongst the sleeping bags, flashlights, guns, and camo wear something like, I don’t know, pink suede shoes, bling encrusted earrings, fragrant leather handbags, or soft as a kitten sweaters. I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, the mere thought of it made me smile; right there in front of the kerosene lanterns… so there you have it.